Explorers Connect

The Dark Ice Project

EC CommunityJames Hipkiss

There are only a handful of polar expeditions in history which have ventured into the polar winter. Beginning in December 2012, as part of a two-phase landmark expedition, two men will travel into the darkness.

Between mid-December 2012 and mid-March 2013, Justin Miles and Alex Hibbert will each haul pulks weighing over 350kg the length of the Nares Strait between Greenland and Canada, and then return unsupported as the first part of a two-phase expedition. The purpose of this first phase is to lay and prepare supply depots for a subsequent phase which is the ultimate goal of reaching the North Pole unsupported in winter. This has never been achieved. The Pole has also never been reached from Greenland the final main route as yet untraveled. North 2012 will pitch Justin Miles and Alex Hibbert in to the depths of an Arctic winter for three months with no sunlight and temperatures hovering either side of minus fifty. The route for the first phase will cover up to 900 miles over fractured and mobile sea ice between the cliffs and glaciers of Ellesmere Island and North-West Greenland.

The pair will set out from the Greenlandic Inuit village of Qaanaaq and travel north to the edge of the Arctic Ocean, before returning. The sea ice through these narrow straits is amongst the most dynamic and technically demanding in the world. During the expedition the two man team will be trying an testing the very latest equipment and techniques, from new clothing from Montane to their 'tipi' style tent from Tentipi. This journey is going to be amazing. To follow and find out more visit this page Justin Miles will be using his part in the expedition to support and raise funds for the 'Walking With The Wounded' charity. You can find out more about how to help by sponsoring a day of rations here The team also have a Kickstarter page for people to get involved with the film and book about the project. Please take a look at this page and join in! Justin Miles was one of the original members of 'Explorers Connect' when it began as 'Bristol Explorers' at the 'Square Club' in Berkeley Square.

A car accident in 1999 resulting in brain injuries leaving Justin having to learn to walk and talk again. it was during his recovery that he developed a dream of turning an adventurous hobby in to a profession. Justin has taken on numerous physically and psychologically demanding challenges every year, from long distance running, cycling, kayaking and multi-disciplined events to expeditions and challenges in polar, mountain, desert and jungle environments. Justin uses his challenges and expeditions to support a charity working with children with brain injuries, another charity supporting wounded servicemen and women and to fuel a nation-wide primary schools education initiative which he started in 2009. Alex Hibbert is a world recording holding expedition leader and photographer and at the age of 26 has crossed the world largest ice cap four times.

Alex grew up in Hampshire and went on to read biology at the University of Oxford. His sporting achievements include completing the Devizes to Westminster kayak race, competing in the Oxford-Cambridge varsity triathlon, long distance running and reaching the summit of several peaks in the French Alps.

The highlight of his career to date was the Tiso Trans-Greenland expedition which, at 1374 miles, is the longest unsupported polar journey in history and is depicted in his book 'The Long Haul'.